A man accused of lying about a failed plot to join the U.S. military then team up with insurgents in Iraq was jailed without bail on Tuesday.
Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, a skinny 21-year-old from Staten Island, didn't enter a plea in Brooklyn federal court to charges he made false statements to U.S. authorities investigating an international terrorism.
No new court date was set.
Shehadeh was arrested in Hawaii after the FBI said he had tried to travel to Pakistan to join the Taliban.
U.S. Marshals flew him back to New York for the federal court hearing.
NYPD commissioner Raymond Kelly has called this another case of a "homegrown" terror threat. But so far, federal prosecutors have only charged Shehadah with lying about a terror investigation.
Shehadeh, son of a Palestinian immigrant, is a U.S. citizen. Relatives said he grew up on Staten Island, attending Tottenville High School and playing basketball with friends. A cousin told NBCNewYork he is shocked by the arrest as he said Shehadeh, 21, was not an extremist.
But the FBI said he became radical over the last two years. In one instance, they said he went to the armed forces recruiting center in Times Square hoping to join the U.S. military. But prosecutors said he was hoping to be accepted so he could allegedly turn and kill US troops once he was deployed.
Investigators said they had been tracking him for two years and there was never any specific threat to the city.
Shehadeh's hearing is expected to begin late Tuesday morning.